Saturday, 24 Oct 2020

Coronavirus: One booking every 11 seconds as Brits scramble to buy ‘staycations’

Britons are scrambling to book holidays as record sales have been reported following Boris Johnson’s announcement that some lockdown restrictions are being lifted.

Hoseasons, who specialise in luxury lodges, said they recorded one booking every 11 seconds within hours of the prime minister speaking.

The government said on Tuesday that from 4 July people will be allowed to stay in self-contained accommodation including hotels, B&Bs and campsites providing shared facilities can be kept clean.

Easing of the restrictions apply only to England, but self-catering holiday accommodation in Northern Ireland will open again on Friday, and hotels will follow on 3 July.

Wales will decide on 9 July and the Scottish government is reviewing its own lockdown restrictions.

Millions of people are expected to book holidays in the UK as travel abroad is still restricted to only essential trips.

Hoseasons and cottages.com both smashed previous record sales days on Tuesday with year-on-year sales up 270%, and 455% respectively.

Simon Altham, chief commercial officer of Awaze UK – the parent company of both brands – said: “We were expecting greater levels of interest, but the surge in demand was still surprising and we certainly hadn’t expected a record day.

“Over the last few weeks we’ve seen volumes of inquiries and bookings increase on a daily basis, as people begin to become more confident about booking a UK holiday.

“Government confirmation seems to have just given people an extra level of certainty.

“All the evidence suggests that holidays remain a priority for most people, and this year more than ever the chance to get away is something customers are very much looking forward to.

“July and August are likely to be very busy as a result, but we’re also expecting greater than usual levels of demand for September and October too as the season extends.

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